Recent additions to the Real Estate Team - Jouni develops reporting and Joel answers residents’ questions

At the turn of September-October, Jouni and Joel joined the real estate team. As a Controller, Jouni Heikkinen helps the real estate team in decision-making and produces various reports. Joel Arantola started as a real estate assistant when his fixed-term job as Emergency Housing Coordinator ended.
Joel Arantola ja Jouni Heikkinen seisovat punaista tiiliseinää vasten
Joel Arantola (on the left) ja Jouni Heikkinen (on the right)

Better decisions and more efficient operations with improved real estate reporting

The Controller’s position in the real estate section is a new one and Jouni was especially hired to respond to the increased reporting needs in the section. Jouni is also replacing a real estate specialist on parental leave, taking responsibility for developing financial management processes and systems for the real estate section.

“The role of the Controller is to produce financial information that supports real estate operations and to support the organisation in its decision-making,” says Jouni about his duties. The Controller’s responsibility is to know the earnings logic of real estate business and to question the related processes and functions in order to improve operations and systems.

“In my opinion, we can develop operations by providing the organisation with accurate, up-to-date financial and operational information as well as helping the real estate team in decision-making,” Jouni describes his role in the real estate team.

The most important tasks are general reporting, the planning of real estate finances, regulatory reporting and the development of reporting. “I must consider how to monitor the properties as a whole and the cost development in the short and long term, so that rents can remain on a reasonable level in the short and long term. If there are discrepancies between actual and requested account budgets, it is important to find the root causes and consider what to do. Jouni is particularly interested in the systematic development of reporting systems and operations.

Jouni ended up at AYY after seeing a recruitment advertisement after being three months out of the labour market, having worked for the largest real estate investment company in Finland for 27 years. “The summer went by cycling, exercising and wondering what I would do in the future,” Jouni describes. Jouni has enjoyed the atmosphere at AYY. This is an innovative community, especially when my colleagues are much younger than I am. There is plenty of positive attitude and open discussion.” He also mentions that information flows better, and communality increases when working in an open office instead of your own cubicles.

Answering to residents’ questions and clarifying storage space

As an Aalto member, castle warden and active student, Joel was already familiar with the student union environment. Joel ended up at AYY after being an active guild member. He has been an active member in Inkubio, the Guild of Bioinformation Technology, from where he ended up in Aava’s Outdoor Games Committee.

In August-September, Joel served as Emergency Housing Coordinator before starting as a Real Estate Assistant. Emergency housing is provided for new students who have no housing at the beginning of the academic year. Joel’s main job was to advise students where to look for apartments. “Half of those who contacted me found long-term housing in the Helsinki metropolitan area after their first contact, and no longer needed emergency housing when they arrived. It is a funny job in the sense that the fewer customers you have, the better the situation,” laughs Joel. In the early autumn of 2019, AYY provided emergency housing for 22 residents.

While serving as Emergency Housing Coordinator, many people advised Joel to apply for the position of a real estate assistant, which had just opened. Joel started in his position in early October. “I help in the real estate section and respond to messages from residents. We discuss development ideas with the real estate team and I also work on the website.” As his own project, Joel has started to clarify the storage spaces. The purpose is to get the Domo system to know which storage space belongs to which resident and to ensure that each resident has their own storage space.

Part-time work can be conveniently combined with studying. “I just started in Complex Systems Master’s Programme. In the programme, we learn how to handle data in a usable form and how to predict the likely outcome from the data,” Joel describes. Of his future, he can only say that he will graduate as a Master of Science (M.Sc. (Tech.)) “I don’t know yet what kind of duties I will have. But these jobs at AYY are unlikely to slow down my graduation.”

Joel wants to urge the residents to be active and get in touch if they have any questions. “Usually things work out when you just ask. We don’t always realise which issues are unclear to residents.” He advises residents to get in touch by email or come by to the office.

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